Friday, April 01, 2005

When I was in 7th Grade

My P.E. teacher, Miss Somebody, wrote in my autograph book (hey, it was in '73) "You could be a real star if you apply yourself."

Ah! What? Meany. That pissed me off. But deep down, I knew what she meant. I sandbagged. Did the minimum required. I could have been a great basketball player if I tried harder. But I didn't. I don't know, I was afraid to give it more, I guess.

I approach writing the same sad way sometimes and I want to quit. But deep down in the resonant part of my soul, I have peace. "Try harder."

"But I've tried as hard as I could. I want to quit." (Think Barbara Streisand in "The Way We Were" when she runs out of class, tearing up her story.)

"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is weak."

Oh fine, Lord, quote Yourself to me. Quitting won't hurt anyone me. No one is going to chase me down the writing yellow brick road and beg me to stay. If I quit, who cares?

I have to change. I have to apply myself to be the star. Throughout life, I've always been good at stuff, but second string. At 44, can I finally be first chair, starting QB, head of the company? Can I be first in line? Can I be first string?

I don't want to be second string. I don't want to quit. But my heart hurts. And I'm scared. If I give my best and it's not good enough? Is my best just shy of the "good enough" bar?

Questions I ponder. But I won't quit. I can't. How will I ever know otherwise? But this I do, "I press on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, forgetting those things which lie behind. Press on, press on."

"When I was 44, I became a star." ;)

5 comments:

glimpsing gal said...

I love your posts! Reading them is all I need to know I'd love your books as well. Plus...I can relate on so many levels - particularly to this post.

Thanks!

Love, Staci

Tracey Bateman said...

Rach,

This resonated with me in a major way. Wow, we really are kindred spirits. I tend to do just enough to make it. Today I have the flu and I want to not be a writer with pressing deadlines. I want to curl up under the covers, nurse my aching head and body, drink tea and watch a Lifetime movie. But that's not an option. I have to draw on strength that is not of myself and write for the goal.
Side by side...first string...you and me. :) You have what it takes. Staci is right. You're a fantastic writer. Whether it's a blog or a book. You're a star.
Love lots

Lynette Sowell said...

I know what you mean, this coming from an underachieving overachiever. Here's to aiming high and pressing on!~~Lynette

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Thank you Rachel for this post. You made me cry. Because I do the same thing. Ask the same questions. Fight myself all the time. Press on, Press on.

#3 of Five!! said...

Roses Are Red Violets So Blue, your younger brother still loves you. Yes he's corny, yes he's dumb, but thats the purpose to irritate,I know you want to put me under your thumb. In knowing this I bust with glee I can hardly contain myself I love to tease. The more irritated I make you, greater the fun, I guess thats my way of telling you that I love you......I'VE GOT TO GO CAUSE I HAVE THE RUNS!!!